Burnside church to mark 100 years
BURNSIDE - Faith Bible Church will celebrate 100 years Saturday.
The celebration will begin at noon with a covered dish banquet followed by a program of congregational singing, special music and a few words from pastors and teachers from the past. The program will conclude with more music and some closing remarks from current pastor, Perry Ross.
In 1978, the late Mildred Ressler wrote a book of Burnside, which tells a good bit of church history. It also contains many family genealogies dating back to 1810.
In the early 1900s, while the coal industry was making its mark, folks approached the authorities to ask if they would designate an area where residents could build a church. One resident was appointed to choose the spot. Melinda Werntz stood on top of the hill where the church now stands and said she could look down and see all the village homes. She said anyone traveling over the mountain would see the church as soon as they enter the community.
"It will be a lighthouse to them," she said.
In 1978, the church was closed for a time. Several neighbors didn't want to see the building deteriorate and planned a restoration gathering.
In 1981, a group of people who had been meeting in a rented building in Shamokin re-established worship in the Burnside church.
In 1992, a group of parishioners began looking to build a place to worship of their own, but instead merged with Burnside Union Church and took on the chartered name of Faith Bible Church.
Most of the furnishings are original from the 1900s, but several renovations were made over the years, including adding a new furnace, installing carpeting, adding cushions to the original pews and installing bathrooms. The walls and ceiling were repaired and painted and more lighting was added last year.
The public is welcome to Saturday's celebration.